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How To Become Mind-Blowing At Public Speaking And Inspire People

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Becoming A Mind Blowing Public Speaker

As many of you know, public speaking has become something I want to get really proficient at. To achieve this goal, I have read and consumed the best public speaking tips from all of the experts in the field. I’ve also watched countless TED videos to see what makes a memorable experience for any audience.

Combined with my research, I’ve also attended many events where I have been left speechless by seemingly unknown speakers who manage to motive the audience into action and leave you feeling breathless after they share their stories and advice.

No matter what your pursuit is, at some point, if you want to take it to the next level, you’ll need to become outstanding at public speaking and sharing your message.

To fast track your progress, here are the 15 ways you can become mind-blowing at public speaking:

 

Standing Back Flip1. Do a back flip

No this is not the circus, and I know that. Our very own Joel Brown get’s people instantly connected to his talks by doing a back flip at the start and raising the audiences energy levels. This trick might seem a bit amateur, but it’s quite the opposite. What can you do to get people’s attention at the start of your talk?

 

2. Tell loads of stories

After countless hours of listening to and reading about what makes the best speech’s, it became clear to me that stories are at the heart of it all. Before you go out there and try and give the speech of your life, have a few stories that you can draw on depending on the mood of the room at the time.

Make these stories vulnerable and try to create a moment where people can get value and apply your lessons in their own life. Extract the best bits of each story and don’t waffle on too much about the detail. Focus on what the challenge was, and how you overcame it.

 

3. Paint images with your words

Highly successful speakers have a way with words. They use the words in their speech to paint a picture that makes you feel like you were present at the exact same moment. It’s easy to show images and videos in your talk; it’s much harder to create those images with words, and the effect is far greater.

 

4. Prepared speech or unprepared speech

The question that stumps all new public speakers is whether to prepare or not. The answer depends on what the purpose of your speech is. If it’s a TED talk, then you probably want to have a prepared speech where you memorise the key parts of the speech and say it on the fly.

Famous Ted TalkLearning speeches word for word is near impossible, and I have racked by brain trying to do this. Read your speech as many times as you can and then start summarising different parts of the speech with key phrases.

Once you know the key phrases, then freestyle how you say it when you’re on stage. If you want to be a true professional, then the most advanced way of performing a speech is to do the whole thing on the fly.

To be successful with this technique, I’ve found that the topic of your speech has to be something that you know back the front and that you are extremely passionate about. When you try and speak without preparation about something that is not linked to your passion, you’ll find you will become frozen, nervous, and execute your speech poorly.

Even with an unprepared speech, it’s still a good idea to write down a few ideas you could potentially share and have some good stories that are front of mind to link to your main ideas.

 

5. Use silence instead of filler words

Despite what we all think, almost all public speakers lose track of where they are up to at some point throughout their speech. This is normal and not a time to panic. When you learn public speaking professionally, they teach you to cut out filler words like umm, so, ahh, etc.

What you learn instead is to use silence to get back on track. The reason we use filler words is that in conversations, we are scared of getting cutoff or not getting our point across so we try and maintain control of the conversations by filling in gaps of silence with filler words.

If you want to go pro, then you need to be conscious of filler words.

 

6. Use props

Some of the most interesting speeches on the internet use props to demonstrate the main points. Bill Gates did this when he spoke at TED and brought up how mosquito’s spread malaria. He then releases some live Bill Gates Ted Talkmosquitos into the audience, and people have no idea what’s going on.

The natural assumption by the audience is to think that the mosquitos in the room have malaria. Finally, Bill tell’s everyone that the mosquitoes are harmless, and he now has everyone’s attention. The other famous example is when Jamie Oliver spoke at TED and dropped a wheelbarrow full of sugar on the stage to demonstrate how much sugar is present in children’s food products like milk.

“Mind-blowing public speakers use more than just their voice to deliver their message; they use props to amplify what they’re saying and take their speech up another level”

 

7. Look the audience in the eye

The best public speakers all look their audience members in the eye to make their speech feel personal and relatable. For this technique to work, you have to look at audience members individually for a period of time before glancing at the next person.

Constantly moving your eye’s around will not give the desired effect – hold your glance.

 

8. Use big gestures

The heart of a good speech is not just the words that the speaker is saying it’s the body language they use. Big gestures that demonstrate the size of something or involve your hands and arms stretching out wide will add interest to what you’re saying.

Big gestures show confidence and create interest in your topic. These same gestures will also make the speaker feel pretty powerful and strong too!

 

9. Ask the audience questions

Every speaker has a day when they have more nerves than usual. The professionals use a simple hack to divert their attention away from their nerves and onto the audience. The simple hack is to ask your audience a question relevant to your topic. Let the audience member answer, and then begin your speech. By then, the nerves should have subsided, and you’ll be in flow.

 

10. Vary the speed of your flow

With any popular dance track, you’ll notice that there are peaks and troughs in the energy of the song. If a song is consistently pumping away at maximum energy for the whole time, then there is no rise and fall in emotion. Without emotion, music loses its soul.

The speed and flow of your speech are the same as a popular song. You need to vary the flow of your delivery and have really loud moments, and eloquent quiet moments. You also need to have bits where you speak fast and parts where you speak at a slower pace.

At the same time, world-class speakers understand the power of silence, and they use it after they present a significant point in their speech.

“Silence can add suspense and drama to any speech and it’s a must-have attribute of a memorable talk”

 

11. Move around the stage

Standing in one spot with your arms by your side is very boring to look at for the audience. Professional speakers who blow their audiences mind move around the stage and even walk into the audience to get up close and personal. Life is movement and so is public speaking.

 

12. Stand tall

Rocky Standing TallBefore you give a speech, you need to ensure you’re in a peak state. If you go out there slouching around and lack energy, the way you talk will carry the same forgettable elements. People want to be inspired when they hear you speak, and so you need to inspire yourself first.

Stand tall and imagine that nothing can stop you. Pretend that your message has the ability to save lives and bring about positive change. This mindset will see you crush your speaking goals, and it will create raving fans that want to come back and hear you again.

 

13. Practice in front of a video camera or smartphone

After speaking for a while and doing my first long form speech, a tip that I got from a friend was to video tape my speech. The idea is that when you are practicing your speech, you can film yourself to see how you will look on stage.

This exercise brings surprising results because you will pickup on the smallest details like unnecessary fidgeting and awkward poses or glances. These same videos can then be used later as content for your social media, website or blog so they will never go to waste!

 

14. Attend a speed dating public session event

To become mind-blowing at public speaking on the spot, I’ve found that there is an easy way to improve at impromptu speaking. What I did, was go to a public speaking Meetup where everyone in attendance has to speak on topics in front of each other.

The first few times it can be a challenge, but by the end, you get good at speaking on the fly and concentrating on your audience rather than your nerves. Impromptu speaking is the true definition of high quality, memorable, and inspiring speeches.

 

15. Learn to control your nerves

Everyone from politicians to Gary Vaynerchuk experience some form of nerves when doing public speaking. Nerves are energy that you can use to serve you or detract from your performance. Focus your attention on the audience, notice your nerves, and know that it’s all gravy. You’re meant to do this, and it doesn’t matter what people think anyway.

What do you think makes a fantastic public speaker? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mohamed Hairi

    Sep 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I would just practice and keep practicing and keep getting your reps up. That’s what I did Tim Denning I just keep getting my reps, even though I speak for free at Colleges, I have worked my way up From middle schools to high schools to community colleges to now universities/ Sororities and Fraternities. Next Year my goal is to speak to professional sports teams and eventually get paid. I mostly speak about Drunk Driving, but I will talk about relationships and life and willing to succeed.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 27, 2016 at 5:20 am

      Mohamed that’s great advice and I’ll definitely follow that strategy. Thank you!

  2. Linda Ugelow

    Sep 4, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I’ve not heard of the speed dating speaking event. Thank you. I’ll have to look that up.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 27, 2016 at 5:20 am

      Linda there are lots of them on Meetup.com. Suss it out.

  3. Bill Holmes

    Sep 3, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Excellent article, Tim. I’m looking to becoming a public speaker myself. I would add two items that are assisting me with achieving my goal:

    1. Join a local Toastmasters organization in your community.

    This international organization gives its members the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills by reciting speeches and receiving feedback from their peers.

    2. Recording an audio copy of your speech using a digital recorder.

    This technique has been very effective for me to memorize the main points of my speech. Listening to my voice enables me to critique myself if I’m speaking too loud, soft, fast, or slow.

    • Linda Ugelow

      Sep 4, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      I like these. I’m planning on going to my first toastmaster this week. And yes, recording myself and playing it while I do mindless chores has been really helpful.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 27, 2016 at 5:21 am

      Bill that’s great advice and I have already joined Toastmasters and found it very useful.

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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Success Advice

5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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Success Advice

Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful: How to Promote Yourself and Your Ideas

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Most of us don’t want to look like a braggart, which is good. However, sometimes it makes us stay in the shadow without showing our positive sides. We remain silent about our achievements. The thing is, sometimes politeness can play a bad joke on you. This great feature of your character can become one of those things that prevent you from succeeding.

If you don’t show your positive side in meetings and interviews, there will always be somebody else to do it. When such people get a promotion, your politeness doesn’t seem so useful.

Self-confidence turns out to be a very important quality because confident people who are not afraid to speak of their achievements are usually seen as more competent. However, modesty is still considered a virtue in most cultures. The reason is obvious: Most blowhards just don’t understand how annoying their bragging can be.

Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful

The definition of a braggart is a very talkative person who turns any conversation into an opportunity to talk about his or her personal achievements and goals, constantly glorifying himself or herself. A blowhard is, in general, the same sort of person: too loud, talkative, and boastful.

There’s nothing bad about enjoying your success, in fact, what is the point of success if we cannot be proud of ourselves? The thing is, everyone must understand where to stop.

For example, when you talk to your friends at dinner there’s nothing wrong with sharing your experiences so others can celebrate your success with you. Don’t turn each conversation into a monologue and don’t forget that other people also have interesting stories to tell.

“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” – Dale Carnegie

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Promote Yourself

Excessive modesty makes a bad impression. People who talk themselves down all the time shouldn’t be surprised if others also don’t find them likable. Some people are so afraid of being a blowhard that they get anxious about describing their good sides. As a result, they miss many opportunities.

If you’re afraid of talking about your own achievements, it means that you don’t believe that your work is valuable. Such an approach is unlikely to create an attractive image.

You need to understand that your work has little to do with your personality. Braggarts love themselves more than anything, and their point is to convince others that they are the best.

Only talk about what you actually did, and what is important about your achievements. This is not bragging. All you need to do is show others that you can contribute to your team or organization.

If you want to succeed in the world of business, you need to gain the attention and respect of your colleagues. The very fact that you’re afraid of being annoying means that you’re likely not that sort of person who will turn self-promotion into bragging. It’s time to face the other side of the coin and push yourself through your fears towards success.

Now that you’re ready to get out of your shell, let us help you with a few tips below:

1. Talk about your work and challenges

If you don’t want to sound arrogant, don’t say “It was so easy.” Great accomplishments don’t come easily, and everybody knows it. Tell others how hard you needed to work to achieve these great results. Everybody respects those who work hard and put a lot of effort into their work.

2. Don’t downplay other people’s achievements

Even if you’ve made more sales than anyone else, it’s not a reason to emphasize it. You don’t need to compare yourself to others, instead, compare yourself to your own past. Remember how you started and compare it to what you have now — this is a good sort of comparison that also motivates others.

3. Be thankful

Listen to any Oscar winner’s speeches, and you’ll notice that all these people don’t consider this success as their own. Don’t forget to mention how your team helped and supported you. Thank your company for the opportunity to become who you are.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

4. Stick to the facts

It’s easy to say “I’m a brilliant leader,” but the only message you deliver this way is that you love yourself. Let others judge you based on facts. Describe how your team managed to double sales after you took it over.

5. Avoid humble-bragging

Some people try to disguise their bragging as a complaint. The truth is, this method doesn’t work. If you say “I’m so embarrassed I scratched my Bugatti Veyron,” this remark will only show how insincere you are.

It’s important to get comfortable with yourself and your success. Don’t be afraid to share your achievements, just make sure you deliver the right message. Show others that you can make a valuable contribution, and you’ll promote yourself without being arrogant.

How do you make other people feel important and valued when they are talking? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

4 Unusual Ways to Identify Your Strengths When You’ve Tried Everything Else

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Did you ever find it difficult to identify your strengths in life? Many people identify their strengths and weaknesses during the early stages of their lives however, successful leaders can argue that this may need to be the other way around. In other words, we tend to forget about our strengths and how we can effectively use them; and instead, we desperately try to further improve our weaknesses.

We sometimes tend to focus on the negative things we see around us and in turn, miss out on all the positive energy that other people and nature produce for to us enjoy. This is to be expected – not all days are the same and we are human after all. In some cases though, it may simply be because we are not sure of what our best skill set is.

Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself getting stressed out because you can’t seem to understand the things you are performing the best at – instead, you may be noticing your weaknesses. If you are tired of searching for your best strengths as an individual, note that there are ways you can easily find your strengths and weaknesses, without really putting out too much effort.

Below you will see the 4 ways that can help you identify your strengths when you can’t think of anything else to do:

1. Complete A Personality Test

A personality test will help you figure out up to five main personality traits, in addition to other skills you may possess, considering that you aren’t already aware of them. Even though this may not be the perfect solution in knowing what you’re great at, it will help you come closer to the different aspects of your personality.

Knowing what your personality is made up of is an essential element for figuring out the suitable career path you may want to take, the right people to hang out with, and the right objectives you should be following.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu

2. Take An Aptitude Test

An aptitude test is essentially created to determine a person’s ability in a specific skill or field of knowledge. It will help you understand what skills you excel at by asking a series of questions and based on the answers you provide, it will evaluate which skills you are more fitted to outshine. Make sure to have a proper go at the test as it can positively help you decide which career path is more suitable for you.

3. Receive Feedback From Friends, Family And Colleagues

Receiving feedback from friends, family and colleagues is a great way to quickly and easily tap into the different strengths and skills you may have displayed around them in the past. This activity may include a series of questions around you passion, hobbies and previously shown successes.

First, start the conversation by telling them your passion and hobbies, or in other words, the task you can enthusiastically work on for many hours. Ask your friend to outline three to five of your strengths that are somehow related to what you just mentioned; this may include direct strengths but also transferable skills.

Following this, take a minute to device a fictional scenario where you can apply those skills getting you closer to your career goals. Let them know of your thoughts and how you can further employ these in the given setting.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

4. Use Numerology

This may be a bit of a controversial suggestion as you might not believe in the overall concept; and that’s absolutely fine. Nevertheless, it would be great to be aware of such an option in case you ever want to give it a try.

Numerology essentially refers to the mystical relationship between a number and specific events in someone’s life. You can check it out to understand more about yourself and maybe find new ways on how you can further grow as an individual.

Take Away Message

Finding new ways to improve our strengths and skills may indeed seem difficult sometimes, however, approaching this from multiple perspectives can prove to deliver great benefits to both our personal and career development.

Focus on always improving yourself in any way possible – that may be by employing traditional methods or even quickly applying a few or all of the above tips. The important thing is to make sure that you continuously use what works best for you and you will soon see the results of your efforts for yourself. You will come to realise that your strengths have greatly increased in both quantity and quality over time.

Which one of these ways will help you in identifying your best strength? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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project management
Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mohamed Hairi

    Sep 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I would just practice and keep practicing and keep getting your reps up. That’s what I did Tim Denning I just keep getting my reps, even though I speak for free at Colleges, I have worked my way up From middle schools to high schools to community colleges to now universities/ Sororities and Fraternities. Next Year my goal is to speak to professional sports teams and eventually get paid. I mostly speak about Drunk Driving, but I will talk about relationships and life and willing to succeed.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 27, 2016 at 5:20 am

      Mohamed that’s great advice and I’ll definitely follow that strategy. Thank you!

  2. Linda Ugelow

    Sep 4, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I’ve not heard of the speed dating speaking event. Thank you. I’ll have to look that up.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 27, 2016 at 5:20 am

      Linda there are lots of them on Meetup.com. Suss it out.

  3. Bill Holmes

    Sep 3, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Excellent article, Tim. I’m looking to becoming a public speaker myself. I would add two items that are assisting me with achieving my goal:

    1. Join a local Toastmasters organization in your community.

    This international organization gives its members the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills by reciting speeches and receiving feedback from their peers.

    2. Recording an audio copy of your speech using a digital recorder.

    This technique has been very effective for me to memorize the main points of my speech. Listening to my voice enables me to critique myself if I’m speaking too loud, soft, fast, or slow.

    • Linda Ugelow

      Sep 4, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      I like these. I’m planning on going to my first toastmaster this week. And yes, recording myself and playing it while I do mindless chores has been really helpful.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 27, 2016 at 5:21 am

      Bill that’s great advice and I have already joined Toastmasters and found it very useful.

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

Published

on

project management
Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful: How to Promote Yourself and Your Ideas

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Most of us don’t want to look like a braggart, which is good. However, sometimes it makes us stay in the shadow without showing our positive sides. We remain silent about our achievements. The thing is, sometimes politeness can play a bad joke on you. This great feature of your character can become one of those things that prevent you from succeeding.

If you don’t show your positive side in meetings and interviews, there will always be somebody else to do it. When such people get a promotion, your politeness doesn’t seem so useful.

Self-confidence turns out to be a very important quality because confident people who are not afraid to speak of their achievements are usually seen as more competent. However, modesty is still considered a virtue in most cultures. The reason is obvious: Most blowhards just don’t understand how annoying their bragging can be.

Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful

The definition of a braggart is a very talkative person who turns any conversation into an opportunity to talk about his or her personal achievements and goals, constantly glorifying himself or herself. A blowhard is, in general, the same sort of person: too loud, talkative, and boastful.

There’s nothing bad about enjoying your success, in fact, what is the point of success if we cannot be proud of ourselves? The thing is, everyone must understand where to stop.

For example, when you talk to your friends at dinner there’s nothing wrong with sharing your experiences so others can celebrate your success with you. Don’t turn each conversation into a monologue and don’t forget that other people also have interesting stories to tell.

“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” – Dale Carnegie

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Promote Yourself

Excessive modesty makes a bad impression. People who talk themselves down all the time shouldn’t be surprised if others also don’t find them likable. Some people are so afraid of being a blowhard that they get anxious about describing their good sides. As a result, they miss many opportunities.

If you’re afraid of talking about your own achievements, it means that you don’t believe that your work is valuable. Such an approach is unlikely to create an attractive image.

You need to understand that your work has little to do with your personality. Braggarts love themselves more than anything, and their point is to convince others that they are the best.

Only talk about what you actually did, and what is important about your achievements. This is not bragging. All you need to do is show others that you can contribute to your team or organization.

If you want to succeed in the world of business, you need to gain the attention and respect of your colleagues. The very fact that you’re afraid of being annoying means that you’re likely not that sort of person who will turn self-promotion into bragging. It’s time to face the other side of the coin and push yourself through your fears towards success.

Now that you’re ready to get out of your shell, let us help you with a few tips below:

1. Talk about your work and challenges

If you don’t want to sound arrogant, don’t say “It was so easy.” Great accomplishments don’t come easily, and everybody knows it. Tell others how hard you needed to work to achieve these great results. Everybody respects those who work hard and put a lot of effort into their work.

2. Don’t downplay other people’s achievements

Even if you’ve made more sales than anyone else, it’s not a reason to emphasize it. You don’t need to compare yourself to others, instead, compare yourself to your own past. Remember how you started and compare it to what you have now — this is a good sort of comparison that also motivates others.

3. Be thankful

Listen to any Oscar winner’s speeches, and you’ll notice that all these people don’t consider this success as their own. Don’t forget to mention how your team helped and supported you. Thank your company for the opportunity to become who you are.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

4. Stick to the facts

It’s easy to say “I’m a brilliant leader,” but the only message you deliver this way is that you love yourself. Let others judge you based on facts. Describe how your team managed to double sales after you took it over.

5. Avoid humble-bragging

Some people try to disguise their bragging as a complaint. The truth is, this method doesn’t work. If you say “I’m so embarrassed I scratched my Bugatti Veyron,” this remark will only show how insincere you are.

It’s important to get comfortable with yourself and your success. Don’t be afraid to share your achievements, just make sure you deliver the right message. Show others that you can make a valuable contribution, and you’ll promote yourself without being arrogant.

How do you make other people feel important and valued when they are talking? Let us know in the comments below!

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4 Unusual Ways to Identify Your Strengths When You’ve Tried Everything Else

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Did you ever find it difficult to identify your strengths in life? Many people identify their strengths and weaknesses during the early stages of their lives however, successful leaders can argue that this may need to be the other way around. In other words, we tend to forget about our strengths and how we can effectively use them; and instead, we desperately try to further improve our weaknesses.

We sometimes tend to focus on the negative things we see around us and in turn, miss out on all the positive energy that other people and nature produce for to us enjoy. This is to be expected – not all days are the same and we are human after all. In some cases though, it may simply be because we are not sure of what our best skill set is.

Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself getting stressed out because you can’t seem to understand the things you are performing the best at – instead, you may be noticing your weaknesses. If you are tired of searching for your best strengths as an individual, note that there are ways you can easily find your strengths and weaknesses, without really putting out too much effort.

Below you will see the 4 ways that can help you identify your strengths when you can’t think of anything else to do:

1. Complete A Personality Test

A personality test will help you figure out up to five main personality traits, in addition to other skills you may possess, considering that you aren’t already aware of them. Even though this may not be the perfect solution in knowing what you’re great at, it will help you come closer to the different aspects of your personality.

Knowing what your personality is made up of is an essential element for figuring out the suitable career path you may want to take, the right people to hang out with, and the right objectives you should be following.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu

2. Take An Aptitude Test

An aptitude test is essentially created to determine a person’s ability in a specific skill or field of knowledge. It will help you understand what skills you excel at by asking a series of questions and based on the answers you provide, it will evaluate which skills you are more fitted to outshine. Make sure to have a proper go at the test as it can positively help you decide which career path is more suitable for you.

3. Receive Feedback From Friends, Family And Colleagues

Receiving feedback from friends, family and colleagues is a great way to quickly and easily tap into the different strengths and skills you may have displayed around them in the past. This activity may include a series of questions around you passion, hobbies and previously shown successes.

First, start the conversation by telling them your passion and hobbies, or in other words, the task you can enthusiastically work on for many hours. Ask your friend to outline three to five of your strengths that are somehow related to what you just mentioned; this may include direct strengths but also transferable skills.

Following this, take a minute to device a fictional scenario where you can apply those skills getting you closer to your career goals. Let them know of your thoughts and how you can further employ these in the given setting.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

4. Use Numerology

This may be a bit of a controversial suggestion as you might not believe in the overall concept; and that’s absolutely fine. Nevertheless, it would be great to be aware of such an option in case you ever want to give it a try.

Numerology essentially refers to the mystical relationship between a number and specific events in someone’s life. You can check it out to understand more about yourself and maybe find new ways on how you can further grow as an individual.

Take Away Message

Finding new ways to improve our strengths and skills may indeed seem difficult sometimes, however, approaching this from multiple perspectives can prove to deliver great benefits to both our personal and career development.

Focus on always improving yourself in any way possible – that may be by employing traditional methods or even quickly applying a few or all of the above tips. The important thing is to make sure that you continuously use what works best for you and you will soon see the results of your efforts for yourself. You will come to realise that your strengths have greatly increased in both quantity and quality over time.

Which one of these ways will help you in identifying your best strength? Let us know in the comments below!

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